As the calendar flips to November and December, the temperature is getting cooler outside. This is a sign that the holidays are coming, which means restaurants must prepare for the coming holiday rush.
The dining room might be more crowded, but people still need their space. This is the time of year when restaurants finally move from the red to the black, so they cannot sacrifice this valuable revenue. How can restaurant owners accommodate the holiday rush?
Encourage Drive-Thru, Delivery, and Take-Out Options
First, restaurant owners need to encourage drive-thru, delivery, and carry-out options. No matter what foodservice pros call it, this is a great way to mitigate the holiday rush. In many restaurants, the rate-limiting factor is the number of people who can sit in the dine-in area at any given time. While restaurant owners can only do so much to encourage table turnover, they might encourage more customers to try other options. Customer expectations have changed, and not everyone wants to sit in the dining room. Restaurant owners can even provide a discount on the first take-out or delivery order to encourage people to try this option.
Consider Lengthening Opening Hours
Restaurant owners should also consider lengthening their opening hours. Restaurants that are only open for dinner should think about offering lunch during the holiday months as well. Even an extra half hour on the front and back end of the day can open up new opportunities. By adding an extra hour during the evening, each table could seat one extra party during the evening.
With labor issues still in play for many foodservice operators, implementing batch cooking and using automation in equipment can help manage having less labor. If restaurant owners still can't keep the dining room open longer, consider staying open those extra hours for delivery and to-go only. This could help the restaurant bring in some additional revenue.
Capitalize on To-Go Alcohol
Another area where restaurants can capitalize on extra profits without affecting labor is by offering to-go alcohol options. Many restaurants have the largest margins on alcohol. These do not need to be sacrificed for to-go orders. Currently, over 30 states allow forms of to-go alcohol purchases. Restaurants could incentivize their customers to give this a try by providing a discount on the first to go alcohol purchase. This adds up fast, and it could make a major difference in the bottom line.
Get Ready for the Holiday Rush
These are just a few of the many ways that restaurant owners can get ready for the holiday rush. The crowds are coming, and this is a great time for restaurant owners to make some additional revenue, making up for slower times of the year.
Learn more about how Randal Retail Group helped restaurants in 2020/21 grow their profits by requesting our whitepaper.